Director, North Carolina Botanical Garden

Univerisity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in North Carolina

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted August 19, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, whose mission is "to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants in gardens and natural areas and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature."  The Garden  ( had its beginnings in the early 1900s with the development of a teaching collection of trees and shrubs that later became the Coker Arboretum.  The Garden now comprises more than 1,000 acres and includes the Display Gardens and Allen Education Center, the Coker Arboretum, Battle Park, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, UNC Herbarium, and a number of natural areas in Chapel Hill and surrounding areas.  It serves as a leading resource for expertise on native plants and wildflowers, promotes plant conservation, protects and restores natural areas, and provides access to well-maintained and beautiful gardens.  The Garden, which employs 28 permanent and 31 temporary staff, is supported by the affiliated Botanical Garden Foundation and hundreds of volunteers.


The Director is responsible for overall leadership and management of the North Carolina Botanical Garden and for ensuring that the Garden fulfills its mission in research, conservation, plant collection, public education, and university instruction in the context of the Universitys tripartite mission of teaching, research, and public service.  Specific responsibilities include the following:


  • Strategic planning and fundraising.  In collaboration with colleagues from the Garden, University, Botanical Garden Foundation, and community, the Director gathers information on institutional and public priorities, establishes a shared vision and purpose, and stimulates responsive and innovative conservation, horticulture, research, education, and outreach initiatives.  The Director works closely with Garden staff, University Advancement staff, and members of the Botanical Garden Foundation to identify and gather—through major fundraising initiatives—the resources needed to fulfill the Gardens mission and strategic priorities.


  • Program and resource development, implementation, and evaluation.  The Director ensures that the Garden serves as a leading center for research and education on the flora, horticulture, and plant communities of the Southeast and oversees a varied set of programs and resources dedicated to that goal, ensuring that priorities are set and projects are managed efficiently and effectively.  These include educational programs for schoolchildren, university students, professionals, and members of the public; opportunities and programs for volunteers; and resources and opportunities for researchers.


  • Outreach and partnership development. The Director sees that the Garden serves the local community, the state, the Southeast, and beyond by providing programs, expertise, knowledge resources, and access to gardens and natural areas. Collaboration is a hallmark of the Gardens work; consequently, the Director establishes and nurtures partnerships with public and private organizations and individuals to further the Gardens mission and goals, always with attention to the inclusion of diverse constituencies. 


  • Fiscal, administrative, and operational oversight.  The Director is responsible for sound financial management of the Garden and its programs, promoting the financial wellbeing and economic stability of the Garden, and securing resources through which the goals of the Garden are accomplished.  The Director oversees budget preparation, fiscal practices, and financial analyses.  He or she also oversees management of the lands under the Gardens stewardship.  The Director effectively organizes and supervises employees, sets priorities, cultivates teamwork and open communication, promotes diversity, fosters a culture of scholarly engagement and service, evaluates performance, and provides opportunities for recognition, training, and professional development. 


The position requires significant experience and achievement in leadership and administration in a botanical garden or similar institution; extensive knowledge of plant ecology/biology, horticulture, and the multi-faceted mission and activities of a conservation garden; and a minimum of a Masters degree, with doctorate strongly preferred.  The successful candidate must demonstrate many of the following qualifications: visionary leadership; strong managerial, fiscal, and administrative abilities; an understanding of academic culture, policies, and procedures typical of major public research universities; experience with academic outreach and community engagement; demonstrated fundraising ability and entrepreneurship; excellent communication skills; ability to forge strong collaborative relationships with faculty, staff, and Foundation Board members; ability to garner the support of volunteers and appreciate their contributions; and passion and drive for the goals of the Garden.


The Director reports to the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, and prepares and transmits to the Vice Provost an annual budget and annual assessments of the Gardens and Directors activities.  The Gardens Administrative and Foundation boards support the Director in achieving the goals of the NCBG.  This is a full-time, at-will EPA-Non Faculty position with the possibility of an adjunct faculty appointment.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a comprehensive research-intensive university offering the highest academic quality and a culture of achievement and collaboration. Chartered in 1789, UNC is the oldest state university in the United States. The University enrolls 29,127 students, and is ranked in the top five public national universities by U.S. News and World Report.  The University's fourteen colleges and schools provide instruction offering baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs, as well as programs in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, law, nursing, business, and other professions. The University is situated in one of the premier college communities in the nation.


Inquiries may be addressed to Dr. Todd Boyette, Chair, Botanical Garden Director Search Committee, at or 919-843-2085.  Nominations may be addressed to Dr. Boyette, c/o Debbie Stevenson, 104 South Building, CB# 3000, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3000 or  Review of applications will begin September 15, 2014, and continue until the position is filled.  Anticipated start date is January 1, 2015, but is negotiable.  


To apply, go to


Candidates should submit a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, and the names, titles, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references.  All inquiries will be kept confidential in the early stages of the search process.  Applicants will be directly solicited for permission before references are contacted.  



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Minorities, women, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.